Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Lori’s Story, Lesson 35. Put this on your To-Do list. In this lesson you will learn how to talk about what you did in the past.
Naomi: Such as 勉強しました (benkyō shimashita).
Eric: I studied.
Naomi: 仕事をしました。(Shigoto o shimashita.)
Eric: I worked. This conversation takes place at
Naomi: On the street on campus.
Eric: All right and this conversation is between
Naomi: 静さんとリュウさん。(Shizuka-san to Ryū-san.)
Eric: Shizuka and Ryu. The speakers are not friends yet. So therefore they will be speaking in
Naomi: Formal Japanese.
Eric: Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
静 (Shizuka) : へぇー。じゃ、りゅうさんは 中国人?わかりませんでした。(Hē. Ja, Ryū-san wa Chūgoku-jin? Wakarimasen deshita.)
リュウ (Ryū) : はい。中国の 上海から 来ました。(Hai. Chūgoku no Shanhai kara kimashita.)
静 (Shizuka) : 日本語、上手ですねぇ。日本は 初めてですか。(Nihon-go, jōzu desu nee. Nihon wa hajimete desu ka.)
リュウ (Ryū) : いえ、四年前に 来ました。一年間、日本で 勉強しました。(Ie, yo-nen mae ni kimashita. Ichi-nen-kan, Nihon de benkyō shimashita.)
静 (Shizuka) : へぇー。私も、去年 中国に 行きましたよ。(Hē. Watashi mo, kyonen Chūgoku ni ikimashita yo.)
リュウ (Ryū) : 上海へ行きましたか。(Shanhai e ikimashita ka.)
静 (Shizuka) : いいえ、行きませんでした。北京に 行きました。(Iie, ikimasen deshita. Pekin ni ikimashita.)
もう一度、お願いします。今度は、ゆっくりお願いします。(Mō ichi-do, onegai shimasu. Kondo wa, yukkuri onegai shimasu.)
静 (Shizuka) : へぇー。じゃ、りゅうさんは 中国人?わかりませんでした。(Hē. Ja, Ryū-san wa Chūgoku-jin? Wakarimasen deshita.)
リュウ (Ryū) : はい。中国の 上海から 来ました。(Hai. Chūgoku no Shanhai kara kimashita.)
静 (Shizuka) : 日本語、上手ですねぇ。日本は 初めてですか。(Nihon-go, jōzu desu nee. Nihon wa hajimete desu ka.)
リュウ (Ryū) : いえ、四年前に 来ました。一年間、日本で 勉強しました。(Ie, yo-nen mae ni kimashita. Ichi-nen-kan, Nihon de benkyō shimashita.)
静 (Shizuka) : へぇー。私も、去年 中国に 行きましたよ。(Hē. Watashi mo, kyonen Chūgoku ni ikimashita yo.)
リュウ (Ryū) : 上海へ行きましたか。(Shanhai e ikimashita ka.)
静 (Shizuka) : いいえ、行きませんでした。北京に 行きました。(Iie, ikimasen deshita. Pekin ni ikimashita.)
今度は、英語が入ります。(Kondo wa, Eigo ga hairimasu.)
静 (Shizuka) : へぇー。じゃ、りゅうさんは 中国人?わかりませんでした。(Hē. Ja, Ryū-san wa Chūgoku-jin? Wakarimasen deshita.)
SHIZUKA: Wow. So, you're Chinese, Ryu? I didn't get that.
リュウ (Ryū) : はい。中国の 上海から 来ました。(Hai. Chūgoku no Shanhai kara kimashita.)
RYU: Yes, I'm from Shanghai.
静 (Shizuka) : 日本語、上手ですねぇ。(Nihon-go, jōzu desu nee.)
SHIZUKA: You're very good at Japanese.
静 (Shizuka) : 日本は 初めてですか。(Nihon wa hajimete desu ka.)
SHIZUKA: Is this your first time in Japan?
リュウ (Ryū) : いえ、四年前に 来ました。(Ie, yo-nen mae ni kimashita.)
RYU: No, I first came four years ago.
リュウ (Ryū) : 一年間、日本で 勉強しました。(Ichi-nen-kan, Nihon de benkyō shimashita.)
RYU: I studied in Japan for one year.
静 (Shizuka) : へぇー。私も、去年 中国に 行きましたよ。(Hē. Watashi mo, kyonen Chūgoku ni ikimashita yo.)
SHIZUKA: I see. I went to China last year.
リュウ (Ryū) : 上海へ行きましたか。(Shanhai e ikimashita ka.)
RYU: Did you go to Shanghai?
静 (Shizuka) : いいえ、行きませんでした。(Iie, ikimasen deshita.)
SHIZUKA: No, I didn't.
静 (Shizuka) : 北京に 行きました。(Pekin ni ikimashita.)
SHIZUKA: I went to Beijing.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Naomi: 日本語上手ですね。(Nihon-go jōzu desu ne.) Wow, your Japanese is very good.
Eric: Ah, it’s probably the most common phrase you will hear as a foreigner speaking Japanese in Japan. Not even in Japan, anywhere. It’s especially great when a friend introduces you to someone and immediately after you say はじめまして (hajimemashite).
Naomi: Nice to meet you.
Eric: Or こんにちは (kon’nichiwa).
Naomi: Hello.
Eric: You are showered with 日本語上手ですね (Nihon-go jōzu desu ne) and you know, you are left sort of stunned thinking, but I have just only said hello. Naomi-sensei, are Japanese people just really good at assessing language ability upon first hearing, is that it?
Naomi: I don’t think so. It’s kind of like a greeting you know.
Eric: Oh I see. It’s kind of just something that you throw out there.
Naomi: Yeah.
Eric: It doesn’t really mean much.
Naomi: It could mean that your Japanese is really good or your pronunciation is really good but like I would say most of the time, people are trying to be friendly to you or be nice to you.
Eric: Well you heard it from the source.
Naomi: But I never personally use this phrase.
Eric: Well that’s good. You are way more objective, right? You want to hear at least two sentences before you start judging someone’s language ability. Hey, Naomi-sensei, do you speak Chinese or do you read Chinese?
Naomi: No, not at all.
Eric: I mean, I am looking at scripts. I could see the kanji for the capital city of China which is...
Naomi: 北京 (Pekin)
Eric: In Japanese, right?
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Eric: But I think if Chinese people look at this, they will read it and they will say something that sounds like Beijing, right?
Naomi: あ、そうなの?(A, sō na no?)
Eric: I think they will yeah. If they read it, they will say something like Beijing. I mean I don’t have the correct pronunciation but that’s something like it.
Naomi: あ、じゃあ (a, jā)... Chinese listeners, please…
Eric: Yeah, please correct me because I know I am totally wrong. On to the vocabulary.
Naomi: 次は、単語です。(Tsugi wa, tango desu.)
VOCAB LIST
Eric: Our first word is
Naomi: 前 (mae)
Eric: Before, the suffix ago.
Naomi: (slow) まえ (mae) (natural speed) 前 (mae)
Eric: The next word is
Naomi: 四年 (yo-nen)
Eric: Four years.
Naomi: (slow) よねん (yo-nen) (natural speed) 四年 (yo-nen)
Eric: The next word is
Naomi: 一年間 (ichi-nen-kan)
Eric: The period of 1 year.
Naomi: (slow) いちねんかん (ichi-nen-kan) (natural speed) 一年間 (ichi-nen-kan)
Eric: The next word is
Naomi: 勉強 (benkyō)
Eric: Study.
Naomi: (slow) べんきょう (benkyō) (natural speed) 勉強 (benkyō)
Eric: The next word is
Naomi: 去年 (kyonen)
Eric: Last year.
Naomi: (slow) きょねん (kyonen) (natural speed) 去年 (kyonen)
Eric: And the last word is
Naomi: 上手 (jōzu)
Eric: Skillful, good at,
Naomi: (slow) じょうず (jōzu) (natural speed) 上手 (jōzu)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Eric: Okay. So let’s take a closer look at some of these words. What’s the first word we want to look at?
Naomi: 去年 (kyonen)
Eric: Last year. How do you say this year, Naomi-sensei?
Naomi: 今年 (kotoshi)
Eric: And what about next year?
Naomi: 来年 (rainen). So 去年 (kyonen), 今年 (kotoshi), 来年 (rainen). 去年、今年、来年。(Konen, kotoshi, rainen.)
Eric: My head is spinning. So if you want to say last year was 2008.
Naomi: 去年は2008年。(Kyonen wa ni-sen hachi-nen.)
Eric: This year?
Naomi: 今年は2009年。(Kotoshi wa ni-sen kyū-nen.)
Eric: And next year 2010.
Naomi: 来年は2010年ですね。(Rainen wa ni-sen jū-nen desu ne.)
Eric: So to recap, last year was 2008, this year is 2009 and next year is 2010, right?
Naomi: そうですね。 (Sō desu ne.) 去年 (kyonen)
Eric: Last year.
Naomi: 今年 (kotoshi)
Eric: This year.
Naomi: 来年 (rainen)
Eric: Next year. So what’s our next word?
Naomi: 四年前 (yo-nen mae)
Eric: Four years ago. 四年 (yo-nen) is four years and the word 前 (mae) means before but used as a suffix. It means ago. So in this case, four years ago.
Naomi: 四年前 (yo-nen mae)
Eric: Take a look at this lesson’s PDF for a list of time durations.
Naomi: But let’s go over it quickly.
Eric: All right. So the counter for years is 年 (nen) or
Naomi: 年間 (nen-kan)
Eric: Okay, so one year?
Naomi: 一年 (ichi-nen)
Eric: Two years.
Naomi: 二年 (ni-nen)
Eric: Three years.
Naomi: 三年 (san-nen)
Eric: Four years.
Naomi: 四年 (yo-nen)
Eric: Five years.
Naomi: 五年 (go-nen)
Eric: Six years.
Naomi: 六年 (roku-nen)
Eric: Seven years.
Naomi: There are two 七年(ななねん)(nana-nen) or 七年(しちねん)(shichi-nen)
Eric: How about eight years?
Naomi: 八年 (hachi-nen)
Eric: Nine years.
Naomi: There are two, 九年(きゅうねん)(kyū-nen) and 九年(くねん)(ku-nen)
Eric: How about ten years?
Naomi: 十年 (jū-nen)
Eric: And so on and so forth.
Naomi: We’ve just learned 去年 (kyonen) is last year but you can say 一年前 (ichi-nen mae).
Eric: One year before.
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.)
Eric: One year ago as we just learned, right?
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Eric: But does that imply literally twelve months ago like last year at this time or can it be this calendar year. For example if this is January and we say you know like 去年 (kyonen), it could mean just a month ago December but if we say 一年前 (ichi-nen mae), it has to mean like somewhere around winter of last year like last January, last February.
Naomi: You are smart, Eric.
Eric: Yeah. So am I on to something?
Naomi: そうね。そうそう。すごい。そうです。(Sō ne. Sō sō. Sugoi. Sō desu.)
Eric: Great.
Naomi: Exactly.
Eric: Okay, so to sum it up, I totally stumbled upon this but what we are saying here is that 去年 (kyonen) means at any point in last calendar year?
Naomi: Right.
Eric: And 一年前 (ichi-nen mae) means one year ago like twelve months ago even if it’s the 1st of January and yesterday was last year.
Naomi: すごい。(Sugoi.)
Eric: ありがとうございます。(Arigatō gozaimasu.)
Naomi: Good point.
Eric: All right. On to the grammar.
Naomi: 次は、文法です。(Tsugi wa, bunpō desu.)

Lesson focus

Eric: All right, let’s start using します (shimasu), a verb that means to do and let’s also learn the past tense of verbs. So let’s start with the usage of します (shimasu). します (shimasu) is often called a nominal verb which can create compound verbs, all right? What does this all mean Naomi-sensei, all these terms?
Naomi: As you’ve already learned, 勉強 (benkyō) is study but it’s a noun.
Eric: That’s right.
Naomi: So when you put をします (o shimasu) or します (shimasu), it becomes a verb.
Eric: All right, so putting します (shimasu) after any noun will turn it into a verb. Is that what you are saying?
Naomi: Not all the nouns.
Eric: But of course, there must be exceptions, right?
Naomi: うん。(Un.)
Eric: So just mostly, this is the general rule of thumb.
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Eric: So in this case, to study, the verb will be
Naomi: 勉強をします (benkyō o shimasu) or 勉強します (benkyō shimasu). 仕事 (shigoto) is work or job but it’s a noun.
Eric: So to work is
Naomi: 仕事をします (shigoto o shimasu) or 仕事します (shigoto shimasu).
Eric: This verb します (shimasu) is often combined with a sport, right?
Naomi: あ~、そうですね。(Ā, sō desu ne.) For example, テニスします (tenisu shimasu).
Eric: Literally means to do tennis, but of course you know, it means to play tennis.
Naomi: そうですね。スノーボードします。(Sō desu ne. Sunōbōdo shimasu.)
Eric: To snowboard, to go snowboarding. All right, next let’s review verb forms. In this lesson, we are going to focus on formal forms. Naomi-sensei, how do you say I study Japanese or I will study Japanese?
Naomi: 私は日本語を勉強します。(Watashi wa Nihon-go o benkyō shimasu.)
Eric: 勉強します (benkyō shimasu), to study. How do you say I don’t study Japanese or I won’t study Japanese?
Naomi: 私は日本語を勉強しません。(Watashi wa Nihon-go o benkyō shimasen.)
Eric: 勉強しません (benkyō shimasen), don’t study or won’t study. To get the negative form, replace the ます with ません (masen). How do you say I studied Japanese?
Naomi: 勉強しました (benkyō shimashita) is studied, so... 私は勉強をしました。(Watashi wa benkyō o shimashita.)
Eric: 勉強しました (benkyō shimashita), studied. To get the past tense form, change ます (masu) to ました (mashita). Finally, how do you say I didn’t study Japanese?
Naomi: ませんでした (masen deshita), so... 私は日本語を勉強しませんでした。(Watashi wa Nihon-go o benkyō shimasen deshita.)
Eric: 勉強しませんでした (benkyō shimasen deshita), didn’t study. To get the negative past tense, replace ます (masu) with ませんでした (masen deshita). All right, so let’s go over it one more time.
Naomi: 行きます (ikimasu)
Eric: To go.
Naomi: 行きません (ikimasen)
Eric: Won’t go or don’t go.
Naomi: 行きました (ikimashita)
Eric: Went.
Naomi: 行きませんでした (ikimasen deshita)
Eric: Didn’t go.
Naomi: 食べます (tabemasu)
Eric: To eat.
Naomi: 食べません (tabemasen)
Eric: Won’t eat or don’t eat.
Naomi: 食べました (tabemashita)
Eric: Ate.
Naomi: 食べませんでした (tabemasen deshita)
Eric: Didn’t eat. なおみ先生、去年、どこに行きましたか。(Naomi-sensei, kyonen, doko ni ikimashita ka.) Where did you go last year?
Naomi: うーん。あ、そうそう。去年、タイに行きました。(Ūn. A, sō sō. Kyonen, Tai ni ikimashita.)
Eric: Oh. タイですか。(Tai desu ka.)
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Eric: タイのバンコクに行きましたか。(Tai no Bankoku ni ikimashita ka.)
Naomi: バンコクに行きませんでした。でも、チェンマイに行きました。(Bankoku ni ikimasen deshita. Demo, Chenmai ni ikimashita.)
Eric: Ah I see! So that’s Naomi-sensei, where did you go last year and she said, I went to….
Naomi: Thailand.
Eric: And I said oh, Thailand. Did you go to Bangkok?
Naomi: No I didn’t but I went to Chiang Mai. あとね、ミャンマーも行きました。(Ato ne, Myanmā mo ikimashita.)
Eric: おー、すごいですね。(Ō, sugoi desu ne.)
Naomi: あのー (anō), we crossed the border.
Eric: You know, I have a Myanmar friend here in Japan.
Naomi: あ、本当?(A, hontō?)
Eric: Yeah.

Outro

Naomi: 皆さんは去年、どこに行きましたか。(Mina-san wa kyonen, doko ni ikimashita ka.)
Eric: So where did you go last year everybody? Let us know in the comments of this episode at japanesepod101.com.
Naomi: よろしくお願いします。(Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
Eric: よろしくお願いします。(Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
Naomi: それじゃあ、また。(Sorejā, mata.)
Eric: See you next time.

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110 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 9th, 2009 at 06:30 PM
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Mina-san, where did you go last year? Kyonen, doko ni ikimashita ka?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 26th, 2021 at 05:02 PM
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Hi James Jim Grice,


Thank you for your comment.

If a hundred people learn a language, there will be a hundred of ways to learn it.

We just want you to enjoy learning Japanese with us.

Even if you forget vocabulary, your time and experience of learning Japanese will definitely help you.


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James "Jim" Grice
October 15th, 2021 at 03:19 PM
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Comment to self. Mostly I have enjoyed studying but honestly have not put much effort into learning and vocabulary. I look at the words and see how they are used in context but forget the words as soon as I stop looking. My efforts might be effective if not that I am rather isolated and also a budget geared towards more basic needs. There may be a better way for me to study even as I complain about a lack of such methods. So the comment here should be read by anyone as my way of communicating with myself and less a comment others might want to read. I did also pick Japanese to impress a friend and maybe that was a poor choice.

I know Spanish well enough to succeed my improving to a level of fluency or close to fluent but I am stubborn about sticking with Japanese. 😄

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July 7th, 2019 at 04:19 AM
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Hi Lizzy,


Thank you for studying with us and leaving a comment!

東京と大阪へ行ったのですね!

「すごかった。」とありますが、何がすごかったのか、教えてくださいね!


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Miki H

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Lizzy
June 24th, 2019 at 10:00 PM
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去年日本の東京に行きました。大阪も行きました。すごかった。

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February 7th, 2019 at 11:52 PM
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Smriti Suresh
January 24th, 2019 at 11:07 PM
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😄 Thank you for the good work! Your learning tools are helping me so much❤️️

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October 10th, 2018 at 01:29 AM
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Hi Nathan,

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Nathan
July 7th, 2018 at 11:22 AM
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I am nervous and excited at the same time. In 1 week and 2 days I am going to a Japanese language camp for 1 week. Do you have any tips to help learn faster at the camp?

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December 3rd, 2017 at 06:24 PM
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りゃn
December 3rd, 2017 at 01:29 PM
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Dear Sarah,


There are actually a lot of good books available. Learning a language doesn’t have to be expensive.


For me, I signed up here as I found JapanesePod extremely suitable and affordable for beginners. I have never been to a Japanese class. I study here and read books I bought and I passed N5 recently.


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